SPRING FAIR

Sunflower art wall Fitchburg

Sunflower art wall Fitchburg

SPRING FAIR

       HOSTED BY ASHBY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

               PLACE: SQUANNACOOK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL       

     66 Brookline Street Route 13 Townsend, MA 01469

             We are located behind the Townsend MA Police Station           

Date: Saturday April 27th   10am – 4pm

We have 80 crafters and vendors with prices starting at one table as low as $3 and up: Free paraffin hand waxing for mom and free face painting for all the kids. Our bouncy house is only .50 cents a ride, snow cones 50 cents and balloons $1.00, lunch…  hotdogs, pizza, sandwiches and more reasonably priced items.  Crafters are coming in from the Cape, western MA, from Athol and Becket, several NH towns, RI and … many local crafters and all the party plans, also Lindt candy, a real baker with wonderful goodies, honey, maple syrup, jams and jellies, a genuine silversmith, raffle table, door prize and so much more.  Bring your family and friends.  Come spend some time with us.  Shop, Eat and have a fun day.  See you on the 27th.

Terry's earrings I bought

Terry Impostato designed earrings

Look for Central Massachusetts Agriculture and Art Coalition (CEMAC).

Book cover copyright Lindy Casey, Salt of the Earth Press

Book cover copyright Lindy Casey.

Sheila Lumi will bring her local honey;

Sheila Lumi and Christine Brown

Sheila Lumi and Christine Brown

Vee Lashua, Brookside Family Farm, will offer local produce;

Charlie's gorgeous carrots

Charlie’s gorgeous carrots

Dianne Critron will be there with Soapy Green natural products. Mary Ellen Ryall will offer two children’s teaching books on the monarch butterfly.516mbWcinRL._SS500_ Lots more partners from CEMAC will be there also.

Fitchburg MA Events and Blizzard

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First Thursday was a splash. Many people attending the Fitchburg Farmers Market at the Fitchburg Art Museum. Nick Capasso, new director, was on hand to greet visitors, Museum staff served refreshments.

My Name is Butterfly attends Farmers Market

My Name is Butterfly attends Farmers Market

I tended the community table on the second floor where my book My Name is Butterfly was available. Robert Lanciani of www.ishootwildlife.com  and Terry Impostato, Semi Precious Gem Treasures, had tables. I purchased a pair of turquoise drop earrings from Terry.

Terry's earrings I bought

Terry’s earrings I bought

Sheila Lumi and Christine Brown

Sheila Lumi and Christine Brown

Sheila Lumi, Director of the Fitchburg Farmers Market, brought honey to sell. People bought it by the pound, because it is local honey. I bought a bottle too. We know local honey is good for allergies, cold and flu. When I came home I tasted it; the honey tastes like delicate flowers. It is that good. A Spoonful of Medicine says, “Honey has been shown to have potent antibiotic properties. Scientists have discovered that it naturally produces hydrogen peroxide, a substance capable of killing disease-causing bacteria.”

Read the full article at http://www.creators.com/health/rallie-mcallister-your-health/a-spoonful-of-honey-is-good-medicine.html

Vee Lashua sold organic vegetables, eggs and meat to a sold out crowd. Her spicy grass fed beef chili was delicious and I bought a cup. I bought a steak, which defrosted overnight and cut into five portions.

Organic beef stew

Organic beef stew

I cooked the meat up with tomatoes, onions, fresh baby portabella mushrooms, with vinegar and butter. One portion was used in the slow cooker. I made delicious stew with tiny potatoes, onions, mushrooms, garlic, bite size tomatoes, carrots, celery and fresh dandelion greens from the market.

Charlie Red House Farm

Charlie Red House Farm

Charlie grew dandelion and other greens, at Red House Farm greenhouse. He had beautiful greens for sale. Next month I am going to buy a lot more. There was quite a selection of bagged green and purple lettuce also. The carrots were beautiful.

Charlie's gorgeous carrots

Charlie’s gorgeous carrots

Diane Burnette

Diane Burnette

I met Diane Burnette. She and her husband run Johnny Appleseed Visitors Center, in Lancaster, MA. Visit them at www.appleseed.org They sold darling children’s books about Johnny Appleseed. She offered MA maple syrup and other home grown products. Diane uses the Farmers Market to connect and network with community. In greeting guests, I met grade school teachers. They took butterfly postcards and business cards. Now teachers know that I am available for environmental and butterfly classroom talks. They can contact me at www.butterflywomanpublishing.com   I will be mailing Diane postcards of my books. She thought there might be an interest for the books at Johnny Appleseed Visitors Center.

Afterwards several of us went to First Parish UU, on the Upper Common, to attend First Thursday Drum Circle. I love this time to unwind. I brought a squash rattle, noticed some brought bells. Next month I am going to bring bells, clapping sticks, and rattles. I am new to drumming. The music takes me to an inner, deep and calming space. You may be interested in reading an article “Research indentifies health benefits from participation in drumming circles,” by Kimberly Ann Holle, Columbus United Examiner at

http://www.examiner.com/article/research-identifies-health-benefits-from-participation-drumming-circles

Blizzard in Fitchburg

Blizzard in Fitchburg

Friday the weather turned into The Blizzard of 2013. Fitchburg had a snow fall of 23.5 inches of snow overnight. The Governor told everyone to stay home. If you were caught out driving you could have gone to prison. People paid attention. I was perfectly safe up here on the 9th floor. It is a little nest and I am self contained. As of 4 p.m. today, the Governor announced that vehicles could use the roads again.

Digging out

Digging out

Be happy Butterfly Woman friends.

Talkupy – Jason Graham – Native Bee Nest Site Project 06/07 by Talkupy | Blog Talk Radio

Talkupy – Jason Graham – Native Bee Nest Site Project 06/07 by Talkupy | Blog Talk Radio.

I was listening to the interview, which I like very much. Tomorrow when I am fresh, I will relisten and contact Annie Lindstrom. She asked if I would be interested in coming on the Blog radio station. I think it would be a wonderful opportunity to talk about monarch butterfly as a pollinator. The life cycle of the monarch now has an Endangered Migration Phenomena.

I have authored two published books about the butterfly. The books are illustated children’s book, My Name is Butterfly can be used by teachers and parents to teach children. One is a charming story about a girl in her garden who discoveres the wonders of the monarch butterfly. The other book is a Monarch Butterfly Coloring Book. This too is a teaching book, ilustrated by Mora McCusker, artist in Gordon, WI.

 

Butterfly Corner

Published by Washburn County Register, Shell Lake, WI, 16 May 2012

May 8 – Northwood School, Minong, WI. I met with Shelby Ausing, parent of students at Northwood School, Josh Tomesh, principal, and Jean Serum, Administrator. The school is implementing a Butterfly Garden on school property.  I chose the site based on a gentle sloped terrain. Property has native hazelnuts, chokecherry, and Juneberry growing naturally in the background near red pines. The open sandy land is visible from Route 53. Land base is between ½ acre for restoration and up to 1 acre for total habitat. It flanks the school entrance driveway and parking lot. The habitat will be within easy access for students to walk to from grade school and charter school. The habitat will be used as an outdoor classroom.

While walking the site, I pointed out two native wild strawberry colonies; pussy toes, host plant of painted lady butterfly; and violets, host plant of fritillary butterfly. Minor invasive spotted knapweed was evident and will need to be eradicated. The area has been mowed, which will be discontinued to allow native habitat to emerge. Happy Tonics will work in liaison with the school. We will advise with conception, landscape design, planning, planting, and maintenance. Northwood School is an average of 8 miles, round trip, from my home in Minong.

May 9 – JoAnn Flanagan, Oregon, OH, reports, “Saw several monarchs today down at the state park. Had the binoculars out – biggest week in birding there. People from over 47 states in attendance.”

May 10 – Sophie Belisle, Shell Lake, called in the first monarch sighting for Shell Lake. She has followed the monarch’s arrival in Shell Lake for two years.  She received a jade butterfly ring, metal butterfly book mark, and My Name is Butterfly, as gifts for her participation in this year’s monarch tracking.

Mike Carpenter, habitat caretaker, has the shrubs weeded. Open space was created around them.  This will allow them to be visible from Route 63. A layer of wet newspaper and mulch will be added around the shrubs. Residents can use the same technique to kill weeds and allow air to get around shrubs and trees.

May 11 – I saw my first male monarch today. He looked like he was in good shape. Milkweed is up in Minong. Mother butterflies don’t need much, only newly emerged milkweed to lay eggs on. Later in the afternoon, I saw a female monarch searching for milkweed. She will tap the leaves and taste the plant with feet to determine if it is truly milkweed.

Mike Jensen, Lampert Lumber, in Spooner, donated building materials for a garden shed, approved by City Council last fall. Happy Tonics, through a grant from Wisconsin Environmental Education, matched 50 percent of the donation. Bob Forsythe, Technical Education Department, and students at Shell Lake School are building the shed. We are thrilled that Mr. Forsythe and students took the project on as community outreach. To learn more about Lampert Lumber Community Giving visit http://lampertlumber.com/about/community-involvement

Stacie Theis, Beach Bound Books reviews My Name is Butterfly

On exhibit at New Ventures Garden Seminar, Northwood School, Minong, WI

On exhibit at New Ventures Garden Seminar, Northwood School, Minong, WI

It is a thrill to have one’s book reviewed. Thank you Stacie Theis, Beach Bound Books, San Diego, CA, USA, for giving my book, My Name is Butterfly, a good review for parents and teachers.

My Name is Butterfly by Mary Ellen Ryall is a wonderfully written educational story about the birth and life of a Monarch butterfly. The story is told through the eyes of the Monarch caterpillar who eventually transforms into a Monarch butterfly.A young girl named Sarah discovers a mother Monarch laying eggs in their garden. Sarah enthusiastically experiences first hand the birth and transformation of the Monarch caterpillar. The butterfly becomes her teacher as she learns how the caterpillar is born, what it eats and how it becomes a butterfly.

The illustrations by Stevie Marie Aubuchon-Mendoza vividly depict the Monarch caterpillar’s and Monarch butterfly’s characteristics.

A great book for parents and teacher alike to educate children about the life of Monarch butterflies.

Available at www.amazon.com It has been a joy working with you Stacie.

Tomorrow I will be speaking to Mrs. Jean LaVave’s kindergarten class in Shell Lake. Mrs. LaVave teaches the children about monarch biology. I have been invited to her class for many years now. It makes me proud to see happy children who are monarch butterfly advocates.

I’ll wear my butterfly shirt, hand appliqued by Myna Atkinson. She is an elder master needlewoman. God bless all our butterfly friends. I couldn’t flutter without them.

Stacie Theis interviews published author Mary Ellen Ryall

Hello Insectamonarca friends,

Many of you realize that I have now become a published author. It is all about the monarch butterfly. As executive director of Happy Tonics, Inc., I have been fortunate to stay “tuned into” the life cycle of the monarch. I have come to understand the risks, biology, host and nectar sources, environmental behavior and a list that just keeps growing.

Hope you enjoy the journey.

Stacie Theis interviews published author Mary Ellen Ryall.

Butterfly Corner with Happy Tonics

Butterfly Corner
by Mary Ellen Ryall

April 20 – In honor of Earth Day, Jim VanMoorleham and I planted five native chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) shrubs in area three, near the Memory Tree Grove, at the Monarch Butterfly Habitat. Black chokeberry is a deciduous, cold hardy shrub useful in landscape plantings, showing white flowers in the spring, colorful red foliage, and heavy dark fruit in the fall.

Meadow fritillary copyright Mike Reese, Wisconsin Butterflies Organization

Meadow fritillary copyright Mike Reese, Wisconsin Butterflies Organization

April 24 – Today I saw a white cabbage and a fritillary butterfly. The fritillary’s host plant is violet; flowers are in bloom. Butterfly sightings were posted to Wisconsin Butterfly Organization at http://wisconsinbutterflies.org/Individuals may record their butterfly sightings at this site. Kids would enjoy this activity as much as adults do. The project allows us to understand butterfly population trends.

My Name is Butterfly copyright Mary Ellen Ryall

I am happy to report that my book, “My Name is Butterfly,” is now available at Gadsden Public Library in Gadsden, AL. I am thrilled that libraries around the country are purchasing the book for children. Book postcards also went to the State Library Convention in AL where it was given exposure to other librarians.

According to ABC News, “A female Baringo giraffe calf at the Bronx Zoo was enjoying the warm New York weather over the weekend while frolicking with a butterfly that flew through her exhibit. The butterfly caught the newborn baby’s eye while she was nuzzling her mom and exploring her new home. The calf was born in March but has not yet been named, according to the Bronx Zoo. All of the zoo’s giraffes are named in memory of James and Margaret Carter, benefactors for the Carter Giraffe Building.” You can view the chase at http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/baby-giraffe-chases-butterfly-bronx-zoo-16151869

Award winning squash bread copyright Mary Ellen Ryall

Award winning squash bread copyright Mary Ellen Ryall

April 25 – My recipe for Squash Bread was a winner at the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College Sustainability Living Fair. The bread was chosen for Jiibaakweyang, We are Cooking Together, Flavors of Lac Courte Oreilles. I was delighted to share saved squash seed with attendees. The acorn squash grew in the Three Sisters Garden at the Monarch Butterfly Habitat in 2011. Seed sharing is all about stories of where seed comes from. At the fair, Sheldon Spratford gave me beautiful corn husks. He reported that his grandmother grew the corn until the 1980s, when she passed away. He found one husk of dried corn at her house afterwards and saved it. Sheldon, an elder, mentioned that he has been growing the sweet corn since the 1990s. He mentioned that the corn is sweet and small. Happy Tonics will offer the seed at several environmental events in May. The Visitors Center/Store will be open for the season on Memorial Weekend. We invite you to stop by for sweet corn seed.

April 26 – Journey North reported that the monarch migration moved into five new U.S. states—Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, and Minnesota this past week. The cold snap is keeping monarchs away from Shell Lake; there is no milkweed up yet in the habitat. Let us hope that a warming spell will begin soon.

Carol Hubin reported on April 28 that milkweed is up on her property in Shell Lake. Keep your eyes posted. If you spot a monarch, please let us know if it is a faded butterfly or freshly born. Knowing the difference will allow Happy Tonics to record the following: Did the butterfly fly all the way from Mexico or is this the first generation of butterfly in the U. S.? Female butterflies will need milkweed to lay their eggs on. Female butterflies only live a few weeks after depositing eggs.

In 2012, we are going to count monarch eggs at the Monarch Butterfly Habitat and mark milkweed plants that have eggs. Wire cages with tags will be used to identify which milkweed plants have eggs. If you have any old tomato cages to donate or see a monarch sighting, please call Mary Ellen at (715) 466-5349.

Ginger Wilcox smudges Mike Carpenter

Ginger Wilcox smudges Mike Carpenter

April 28 – 5th Annual Earth Day Event in Shell Lake was well attended. We are grateful to Dr. John Anderson and Ginger Wilcox for leading us in a Native American Ceremony to honor donors. Butterfly friends came to celebrate the butterfly and conservation efforts on behalf of the butterfly. Happy Tonics hosted an informal potluck afterwards at the Visitors Center/Store at 25 Fifth Avenue, Shell Lake.

Butterfly Corner – March 23, 2012

March 23 – The 2nd Annual Northwest Wisconsin Regional Food Summit was held at Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College. John Peck, Family Farm Defenders, was keynote speaker. The topic: Food Sovereignty. In the not so distant past, the family farm and home garden were responsible for supplying food on the table. This system radically changed during the “Green Revolution.” Currently in our everyday lives, we have found out that a globalized food chain has come at a very high cost. Fuel for transportation has risen; seed has gone to hybrid and patented GMO; animals are owned of big Ag-chemical companies. What is wrong with this picture? Food Sovereignty is imperative for food security.

Last year I raised my own vegetables. I learned to can, freeze, dehydrate and dry my foods and herbs. I bought Bashaw’s organic berries and grass fed frozen beef. The organic farm is located on Highway 63, between Spooner and Shell Lake, WI. I know this food is healthy. In 2011, Lac Courte Oreilles Public Library published Jiibaakweywang, We are Cooking together, Flavors of Lac Courte Oreillis. Sandy Stein’s award winning recipe 3 Step Manoomin (wild rice) is published in the book. Sandy is Happy Tonics Secretary. She started a Happy Tonics garden plot of native and medicinal herbs in 2011. This is a seed saving project.

My recipe for Organic Four Grain Health Bread was published in Jiibaakweywang. I used amaranth (red root, pig weed) from the Monarch Butterfly Habitat in Shell Lake. Who knew that wild edibles would be part of the native plant community, in the Native Wildflower and Butterfly Garden? The collaborative book project was made possible by the Institute of Museum Library Services Enhancement Grant for Native American Library Sciences. The focus of the project is to target areas of health, the environment, and traditional culture.

April 14 – Last year over 100 people attended the Gadsden, Alabama, Public Library Local Author Day, which according to Julie Dobbins, is a fun and exciting event! The yearly event provides a great opportunity to discover new writers, buy some books, and get them signed by the author. My Name is Butterfly, written by Mary Ellen Ryall, will be on display at the event. Colorful postcards, with details on how to purchase the book on Amazon, will be available to fellow authors and the public.  It is near impossible to attend all the writer events, such as this; when we are so far off the beaten path. I consider it a great privilege to have my book at the Gadsden, Alabama, Public Library Local Author Day event.

The Aldo Leopold film, Green Fire, will be shown on TV in April. The film is about land ethics. Aldo Leopold Foundation says, “The first full-length documentary film ever made about legendary environmentalist Aldo Leopold, Green Fire, highlights Leopold’s extraordinary career, tracing how he shaped and influenced the modern environmental movement. Leopold remains relevant today, inspiring projects all over the country that connect people and land.” We should all be proud that the environmentalist lived in Wisconsin. Leopold wrote his famous book Sand Country Almanac in our own state.   See the following times and channels:

Friday, April 20 at 8pm on WPT; Sunday, April 22 at 2pm on The Wisconsin Channel; and
Tuesday, April 24 at 11pm on WPT.

March 22 – Monarch butterfly news. Due to the unusually warm temperatures and high winds blowing north from the Gulf of Mexico, over the last two weeks, the butterfly has traveled further north at record speed. According to Journey North, the monarch has already reached Kansas, a distance of 1,200 miles from Mexico. There is concern that the monarch is ahead of the normal migration cycle, usually the monarch is in Kansas on April 15. Scientists are diligently watching for an “ecological mismatch.”  The monarchs are at a critical time in life. It is this generation that reproduces the next generation of butterflies. Will milkweed be up and ready for the laying of eggs on milkweed this early in the season?

In December, Dr. Lincoln Brower and other scientists count the number of Oyemal fir trees that have overwintering monarchs. The Mexican count showed the monarch population down by 28 percent from last year. This is an ongoing trend. Part of the cause is the continued plundering by illegal loggers in and around the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary in Mexico.

Another concern is the loss of milkweed in breeding habitat. “Dr. Karen Oberhauser is co-author of newly published research. Her study found a 58% decline in milkweed and an 81% decline in monarch egg production in agricultural fields of the Midwest,” Source: Journey North.

Kristi’s Book Nook reviews my book about butterfly

New Ventures Garden Seminar

Kristi’s Book Nook reviews my book about butterfly.

Cassie and I exhibited the book and sold many copies at the New Ventures Garden Seminar at Northwood School, Minong, in March 2012. Cassie is the model for Sarah Reynalds, the girl in the book.

You can read the review at http://www.butterfly-woman-publishing.com

Enjoy Insectamonarca friends wherever you are.

Friends and Visitors come to see me while in DC metro area

Friends and Visitors come to see me while in DC metro area. This is a short piece about my trip to Southern Maryland to speak and network about my book.

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